What Ever Happened To Sixteen Candles' Jake Ryan?

Molly Ringwald's characters always had a charming, offbeat way about them, even when playing "The Popular One." So when one of her characters crushed hard on a normal, conventionally attractive someone, many also off-beat Molly fans might have asked, "Really?" But to many of a certain generation, John Hughes's world made more sense than the allegedly real one anyway, so they went along with it. Such was the case with Ringwald's Samantha Baker and romantic lead Michael Schoeffling's Jake Ryan in 1984's "Sixteen Candles."

"I want a serious girlfriend," emoted popular-yet-sensitive Jake to "Farmer Ted"/"The Geek"/Anthony Michael Hall. "Somebody I can love, that's gonna love me back. Is that psycho?" No, Jake, that's not psycho. That's dreamy. Said dreaminess was forever cemented at the end of the movie, as (spoiler alert) Samantha and Jake gazed into each others' eyes over the soft glow of birthday cake candles (Jake having salvaged her 16th birthday, which everyone else forgot), atop a table as the Thompson Twins sighed the ironically anti-romantic lyrics of "If You Were Here."

Schoeffling's IMDB says that he went on to smaller roles in eight more movies, including "Vision Quest," "Mermaids" (along with Cher and Winona Ryder), and "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" before retiring from acting in 1991.

Per Distractify, Schoeffling retired from acting, moved back to his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and started his own custom woodworking business to support his wife (actress Valerie Robinson, now credited as Valerie Carpenter Bernstein) and their two children.

His Daughter Is A Model

Sounds like kind of a fairytale ending, doesn't it? As much as we would love to validate this account, and give ol' handsome Jake/Michael (and his fans) a definitive and happy conclusion, we cannot. Multiple — trust, MULTIPLE — extensive searches for substantiation of these claims turned up nothing verifiable. No fans with selfies of them with Schoeffling in his woodshop, no business name, not even a Yelp review. The trail is, as far as we can follow, cold after he left Hollywood in 1991 following "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken."

According to Too Fab, what we do know is that Schoeffling's daughter, Scarlett (who is either 29 or 30, according to conflicting sources), is a model based in New York City. In 2014, when Too Fab reached out to her agency to request an interview about her career and maybe-just-maybe about her dad, they were told that she and her family were extremely private about their lives and that it probably wouldn't happen. However, Scarlett delighted fans of her dad's in January 2020 by sharing a Throwback Thursday picture of them on her Instagram account when she was just a toddler, and he would have been fairly fresh out of Hollywood. They looked very happy, and we hope they still are!